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Monday, 29 June 2015

Proverbs 11-15 ♥ Think about your words ♥





Good evening girls (and boys!). I'm sorry for being absent last week but I was busy busy and didn't get a chance to get blogging, but I'm sure you managed to keep up by yourself ☺. I must admit I have missed being in touch with you all through the blog.

This week we are in Proverbs 11 to 15. There is so much to glean from these chapters and verses; it may be a little overwhelming for you, trying to take in every verse and live it out in your life. I'm sure the Lord knows that we are a work in progress, meaning that we will probably not be able to put everything in this book into practice at once but will only be able to change a few things at a time, as we reach forward to becoming more like Christ, leaving the sinful things in our lives further and further behind. Our Lord just wants us to become more like His dear Son, and this won't happen overnight, but it will please Him well when He sees us trying to make changes and trying to live more and more according to His Word.

Here is our memory verse for this week, something each and every one of us can learn from. Also below is our reading plan for the week.

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So let's get started and take an overview of Proverbs 11. I was thinking that it might be an idea to add a few questions for us to consider and apply to our own individual situations. (Remember, where you see the word 'man' it generally refers to humankind, therefore it also means woman).

Bible Coloring Chart Bookmark 2I don't know how you have marked your Bible (if you have at all), but if you have and are following Courtney's Bible Colouring Chart you might well notice a pattern - lots of blue and green (wisdom and righteousness) as well as an equal amount of brown (sin and wickedness).

We can see where God points out to us various opposites:

  • Verse 1. Cheating and honesty (especially in business)
  • Verse 2. Pride and humility
  • Verse 21. Punishment and deliverance
  • Verse 26. Greed = cursing; generosity = blessing
We know that Solomon was the wisest man to have ever lived, but wouldn't it be wonderful to have even a small percentage of his wisdom? Especially in the realm of our words. What we say can be so terribly destructive, both to ourselves and to others. Everyone suffers when the wrong words leave our mouths. Do you ever feel that you've said something and have really regretted it later? Who hasn't? But the good thing is that we are aware of it and try to make changes. That's progress and that pleases the Lord.

Look at these verses and consider honestly what they are saying and what they mean to you (don't worry, I'm included in this too!):
  • Verse 9. Who destroys his neighbour (i.e. another person) and how does he do it?
  • Verse 11. How is the city overthrown?
Do you see the common denominator here? 

But thankfully, it's not all bad news! Verses 12 and 13 refer to wise people whose example we should follow. What does the man of understanding do? Yep, he says nothing. Remember when Herod was throwing all sorts of accusations at Christ, all false of course, He held His peace; He said nothing (regardless of how He felt). For some reason, when we are angry, we feel that the best form of attack or defense is to say the first thing that comes into our head. But God tells us this is absolutely not the right course of action. Stay quiet, ask God for the grace to do so, leave the situation, let God deal with it...anything but answer in anger. 


Verse 13. If we have a faithful spirit, it means we are trustworthy and keep confidences. Do people know that if they tell you something and ask it to be kept to yourself, that you will honour this and not betray their confidence? If not, what can you do to change this?

Thanks for visiting today. I hope you have a good week and that the Lord blesses you abundantly, more than you could even ask or think!

Hugs, Karen x

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Proverbs 3:13-26 ♥ Wise and happy ♥

Good evening girls! I'm just popping in with a few thoughts on some verses in Proverbs 3.

There isn't one single person who is reading this blog who doesn't struggle at some time or another. Perhaps tonight you are blessed to be on the mountaintop and things are going quite well for you. That is wonderful, and we are happy for you if this is your present situation. However, there maybe one (or some) of you tonight who is in a valley, at a particularly low point, and struggling to see a way out. If this is where you are tonight, I am sad for you and am praying for you.

Sometimes it's hard to see where God is, in the hard and trying times. No matter how much you try to live right and do your best as a Christian, it seems as though you become more and more burdened. We know, by faith, that every word of God is true and pure and He says here in His Word, in verse 13, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom", not money, or friends or intelligence, but wisdom. We get wisdom from reading and obeying God's Word. But it's the words in verses 23-26 that especially cheered my heart this evening...the wise person will walk safely and won't fall. And how amazing are these words in verse 24? We can lie down in our bed at night, totally unafraid of what the future holds; we can lie down and sleep in sweet peace. Wonderful! Isn't that what most of us want? A peaceful night's sleep instead of tossing and turning with worry. And further on in verse 26 we read that the LORD is our confidence. We trust Him, we believe He knows what He is doing...all we have to do is wait on His perfect timing to step in and do what He has planned to do for our own good and for His glory. And, boy oh boy! Isn't that just the hardest part? Waiting!!! So let's look back at the well-known verses at the start of this chapter and our memory verses for this week, verses 5 & 6. "Trust in the Lord..." You may be going through one of the most difficult trials of your life just now and things will be much clearer after you've got through to the other side as to the whys of your trial but look at what the LORD promises to those who trust and honour Him...verse 10, blessings greater than you could ever imagine!! Oh that we had the patience we need to wait for Him to move!

God always has your best interest at heart!
(Excuse the spelling mistake!)

My prayer for you tonight is that you will know the peace of God as you travel through dark and difficult times. Even though He may seem hidden behind a cloud just now, God is with you every step of the way. He loves you, and cares for you. Draw close to Him and ask Him for grace and mercy to help you through.

Hugs, Karen xx

Monday, 15 June 2015

Silly ole me!!!...


...I think Penelope Pitstop used to say that, in Wacky Races (probably only those over 40 years of age will know what I'm talking about!). I don't know what made me think we were in the book of Psalms until 15th July; it is in fact today that we start the book of Proverbs with Courtney Joseph over at Women Living Well. Courtney has some wonderful resources there for you such as her Free to download Proverbs 31 eBook and also the bookmark for Proverbs.

Proverbs Bookmark[1]



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Hope you can join in the wonderful studies in Proverbs!

Enjoy!

Hugs, Karen x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Psalms 10-13

Hello girls! Another busy week has come and gone and I haven't got to blog. I'm sure you have all been keeping up with the lovely Psalms but here are some of the lessons I've learned this week.                                                                                                                             Psalm 10. Wicked people are full of pride. They boast and brag about the things they want out of life and they refuse to seek or even think about God.                                                                                                                                                                                        Psalm 11. This is a Psalm about the coming judgment of God. The Christian trusts in the Lord and ONLY in Him. God sees everything that goes on in this life, even right into the hearts of the wicked. He hates it when evil people try to do harm to His own children. He sees what goes on and He takes His time before He deals with them (we can get impatient when we see a delay in God dealing with things); but the reason that God is taking his time before He brings down judgment is because He is a gracious and merciful God and He is giving the ungodly time to repent and to turn to Him for salvation. In the end, if they don't turn to Him, He will indeed step in and take action.

Psalm 12. There is much about hypocrisy and wickedness in this Psalm. David is worried about the way society is going in his day. There seems to be less and less godly people and this worries him so he calls on God to help. We can see this same trend in our day too. The people who love the Lord and want to serve Him seem to be in the minority; what can we do about it? The same as David does - pray and ask the Lord to help. We need to be able to leave it with the Lord and, like David, be comforted in the knowledge that God will step in soon.

Psalm 13. David seems to be a bit frustrated in this Psalm because he is not seeing answers to his prayers quickly enough. In verse 1 he feels that God is hiding his face from him and not taking any heed of his prayers. David is pondering over his troubles (verse 2) and feeling the heavy burden he carries. But then he realizes once again that there is no need for him to worry because God is merciful towards him and has blessed him with salvation; David ends up praising God for all his many blessings towards him. He seems to take on too many worries and often feels overwhelmed by all the sin around him. But he has learned to take his eyes off his surroundings and circumstances and get his eyes and thoughts on to God. Then he can relax and find comfort.

Prayer matters:
♥   Pray that the Lord will give us all patience as we seek to do what is right and serve Him
♥   Ask the Lord to help you not to be too overwhelmed with all the sin and wickedness of this life
♥   Ask Him to help you to hand it all over to Him and instead of worrying, praise Him for all His goodness and blessing in your life

Hugs, Karen x 



Monday, 8 June 2015

Psalm 9

Good morning girls! I hope you are well today.

In this Psalm, David contrasts the wickedness of sinful man with the righteousness of a holy God. Look at the different names given to those who are against God - 'enemies', 'the heathen', 'the wicked'; these people are in opposition to the judgments and uprightness of God and His people. Sadly, it is no different in our day. Anyone who is for righteousness and on the side of goodness and truth are usually 'hated by' (v 13) those who aren't.

However, David is able to praise and joyfully worship God in this Psalm because he is confident that God does and will judge righteously on the side of truth and justice. Sometimes it takes a long time for matters to come to light and for the truth to be established but very often this will happen (remember it took 20 years for God to deal in righteousness with Joseph and his brothers). As Christians today, we need to let our confidence rest in the goodness of a merciful God. Think upon these statements that David has made about the workings of God (regarding David's enemies) and then you too can be confident in His help towards you:

  • verse 3,  "they shall fall and perish at Thy presence"
  • verse 4, "Thou hast maintained my right and my cause"
  • verse 4, "Thou satest in the throne judging right"
  • verse 5, "Thou hast rebuked the heathen"
  • verse 5, "Thou hast destroyed the wicked"
  • verse 5, "Thou hast put out their name (like putting out a candle) for ever and ever"
  • verse 7, "He hath prepared His throne for judgment"
  • verse 7, "He shall judge the world in righteousness"
  • verse 7, "He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness"
  • verse 9, "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed"
  • verse 9, "a refuge in times of trouble"
  • verse 10, He has "not forsaken them" that seek Him
  • verse 12, "He remembereth them"
  • verse 12, "He forgetteth not the cry of the humble"
  • verse 13, He has lifted His people "up from the gates of death"
  • verse 18, He remembers the "poor" and "needy"
Wow! How wonderful to have the Lord on our side! We have nothing to fear with Him looking after us.

Prayer matters:
♥   Praise the Lord for all His wonderful dealings with you
♥   Pray for those who despise God and His people (remember there are some who can hide it better than others) to see the truth of the Gospel and to come to Him for salvation

Have a good week!

Hugs, Karen x

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Psalms 4-8

Hello dear friends! I've missed you all ☺. Life has been very busy this week, and a certain special person
has needed extra help and support this week so that has been my priority. Thank you to all of you who have texted with messages of encouragement and prayer. We have appreciated your concern and friendship!

So, on to this past week's Psalms. Don't you just love the Psalms? On the right here is the memory verse for the incoming week too. There is always a word of comfort to be had there, for all kinds of situations. Not all the Psalms were written by David, although many of them were. But these 5 Psalms that we read this week were all by David. In Psalms 4-7, David starts by pleading with the Lord to help him in his time of great need due to persecution and trials at the hands of his many enemies. But the wonderful thing is that he always ends on a note of praise and worship when he realizes and believes that God is always in control and will indeed help him and answer the cries of his heart.

David pours out his fears, his worries, his grief, his own sinfulness in prayer to his heavenly Father. How many times do we start out on a sad or dejected note, almost overcome by the trials we are facing, only to end up in wonder and praise when we finally acknowledge our need to bring it to God? If you notice, his prayers and words very often start with the focus on himself (and that's where the negativity comes in) but he ends on a positive note because his focus has turned to God instead. Remember the words of this lovely hymn?

  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!
    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!
  4. I love the words of Psalm 4:8, "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." I used to be an awful woman for worrying about things and not being able to get over to sleep if I woke in the middle of the night with something on my mind. But I have learned to stop worrying, because I can't change anything about it anyway, and now God's peace comes over me and I sleep really well. In fact, it is so lovely and reassuring to know that He is in total control. What makes me think I can sort it out any better than God? I'm just happy to hand it over to Him; I know He cares for me and He will deal with it for me. David knew this too and sweet peace came to him even when his heart was so troubled that he spent much time crying and almost making himself ill. Once he consciously and happily handed it over to God, he could sleep in peace.

Look at verses 11 and 12 in Psalm 5. Christians can rejoice out loud because God is on our side and He defends and stands up for us. He blesses and protects us. Doesn't it make you wonder how people who don't know and love the Lord manage to make it through each day on their own? 

In Psalm 6, David is impatient for God to deal with his enemies. He is tired of struggling and suffering, tired of his tears and weary of the trials he is facing. Suddenly, it's as if he catches himself on and wakens up to what he has known all along, that once again he can pray in the sound assurance that God will indeed hear and accept his prayers. Are you sure that when you speak to the Lord he hears and answers your prayers? How do Christians know God hears them? Simply because His Word tells us that when we call upon Him He will hear. His ear is always open to the cries of His dear children, just like the ears of a mother are always tuned into hearing her little one crying during the night.

In Psalm 7, David is again comforting himself in his God, who he knows will look after him, even though he is being persecuted on every side. God is the defence of the Christian; He is biding His time, but He will soon come to the rescue of His persecuted people. David is assured that his enemies will be taken care of by God so he knows he doesn't need to seek revenge. He is much too wise to take that on. 

Psalm 8 starts with a note of humility as David wonders how an Almighty Creator God could be bothered with the likes of sinful man, how He could bestow so much power and goodness upon him; at the same time he worships and praises Him who is worthy to be praised because of how excellent and glorious He really is. There truly is no God like our Lord God Jehovah! He is full of love, mercy and grace to a world of sinners who do not deserve this mercy. 

Prayer matters:
♥   Let it be our prayer tonight that those who are not yet saved will be able to see the beautiful wonder and majesty of the God of heaven, while at the same time, acknowledging their own unworthiness before Him, undeserving of such mercy
♥   Ask the Lord to help you to trust in Him and His plan BEFORE you start worrying
♥   Ask Him for patience to accept that He will work in your life and sort things out in His perfect timing

Thanks for stopping by today.

Hugs, Karen x